Know about how long the TOEFL score is valid
TOEFL scores are not valid for lifetime and there is a limit to that, so you should know about “How long the TOEFL score is valid” and with this article, we will give you an in-depth analysis of TOEFL score validity.
All you need to know about the TOEFL IBT exam
TOEFL iBT Exam is basically an internationally recognized Test Of English as a Foreign Language. TOEFL is a trademark of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) which is a non-profit organization which designs and administers the test.
It is a standardized test to measure English language efficiency and the ability of non-native speakers who give the test. It was started in 1964. Also, you don’t get the TOEFL test results then and there. You receive the scores after 11-12 days after you have given the test and then you can send them to the universities.
There are two types of TOEFL iBT Exams- Internet-based test and Paper-based test. It is a four-hour long test and hence requires several months of study and preparation.
Who accepts TOEFL certificate and how long the TOEFL score is valid?
More than 8,500 educational institutions, agencies and other organizations in more than 130 countries require the results of this exam.
- migration services to give you a residence permit or a work permit,
- medical and licensing agencies for certification,
- Employers in order to assess the level of your English proficiency.
ETS conducted a special research to determine whether a candidate has to take the TOEFL or other exams. The results showed that 4 out of 5 institutions prefer to get acquainted TOEFL certificate rather than a document of a different test. Representatives of these institutions indicated that TOEFL provides the most accurate information about the knowledge of English.
TOEFL certificate also is accepted by the migration services in Australia and the UK. In Australia, the test results are needed for a student visa. In the UK the scores of the exam allow receiving visa types of Tier 1, 2, 4.
How long the TOEFL score is valid
TOEFL scores do have an expiration date of sorts, and it’s important to know it. TOEFL scores are valid for two years after the test date. After they expire, you won’t be able to access them online or send them to schools. The TOEFL score validity period is fairly short to ensure schools have accurate and current information about your English skills.
Because TOEFL scores are only valid for two years, you may need to do some planning to make sure your TOEFL scores are still valid. Check with each school you’re applying to in order to learn how long they require scores to be valid (either until the admission deadline or the first day of class). Also, remember to leave time for scores to be sent to schools and to take retakes; if that’s something you’re planning on doing.
In very rare cases, a university may have its own rules for TOEFL score expiration, different from the ETS 2-year rule. For example, the Harvard Extension School accepts TOEFL scores that are up to three years old.
If you’re not sure of your school’s rules for expired TOEFL scores, double check with the admissions office.
Can You Access Expired TOEFL Scores?
Once it has been over two years since you took the TOEFL, your expired scores will disappear from the TOEFL website. You won’t be able to view or send them anymore.
While your TOEFL scores are still valid, you can save and print out copies of your scores, so even after the two-year mark passes you’ll still have a record of how well you did. However, schools won’t accept these expired scores as official TOEFL scores for your application.
How to Plan for the TOEFL So Your Scores Are Valid
Because TOEFL scores are only valid for two years, you may need to do some planning to make sure you have valid TOEFL scores to submit when you apply to schools. Follow these three steps to help you plan when to take the TOEFL.
- Check TOEFL Score Validity Rules for Each School You’re Applying To
If you plan on taking the TOEFL early (at least a year before you begin applying), it’s important to know the TOEFL score validity policies for each school you’re applying to. For most schools, your TOEFL scores only need to be valid when you apply, but for other schools, the scores need to be valid through the start date of the program. There can be close to a year between these two dates, so it’s important to know each school’s policy.
Most schools will state their requirement on their admissions page, along with other TOEFL information. If they don’t, you should contact them and ask. It’s much easier to make a quick call or send an email than it is to deal with out-of-date TOEFL scores.
- Figure Out the Time Frame You Can Take the TOEFL In
Once you know the TOEFL validity deadlines for each of your schools, you can figure out the time frame in which you can take the TOEFL. If you want to take the TOEFL early, remember that you can’t take it more than two years before the validity deadlines for the schools you’re applying to.
If you plan on taking the TOEFL later, remember that it takes about three weeks after you’ve taken the test for schools in the US to receive your scores and eight weeks or longer for schools outside the US to receive your scores. Give yourself enough time for schools to receive your scores before application deadlines.
- Consider Retakes
It’s possible to take the TOEFL multiple times, and this may be something you want to do, perhaps because you want the practice or you don’t feel confident you’ll score highly enough the first time you take the test. If you really don’t think you’re going to use your first TOEFL score, it’s fine to take it more than two years beforehand, since it won’t matter if those TOEFL scores are expired.
On the other hand, if you’re taking the TOEFL close to school admission deadlines, make sure to leave yourself time for a retake if that’s something you think you’ll want to do. You can’t take the TOEFL more than once in a 12-day period.
Why do TOEFL Scores Expire?
If your TOEFL score is about to expire, this may be a question you ask in frustration. It definitely can be upsetting to have an otherwise good TOEFL score expire.
But there is a reason for TOEFL expiration policies. Your ability in your second language can change over time. It’s possible for ESL students to improve as the years pass… But they can also get-out-of-practice and actually lose some of their English.
What happens if your TOEFL Score is Almost Expired When You Apply to School?
If your TOEFL score won’t expire until after your first day of class, you’re probably OK. Still, some schools may not want to accept a TOEFL score that expires before the end of your first semester of study.
But if the TOEFL score expires before the application deadline, in that case, you will likely need to retake the TOEFL before you apply. However, if your TOEFL is going to expire less than a month before the deadline to apply, it may not hurt to ask your school if they’ll still accept the score. Some schools are flexible on this, especially smaller public universities.
A lot of schools will be OK with such a “borderline” TOEFL score. But there are also plenty of schools that won’t accept a TOEFL score under those circumstances. If your TOEFL expiration date is “trapped” between the application cutoff and the first day of school, you should definitely ask your school about this.
Official TOEFL certificate:
An official TOEFL certificate will be sent to you by mail during 13 days after the test day. Usually, the results in the U.S. reach students in 7-10 days, but around the world delivery time may vary from 15 days to several months. If you want to view the results, you need to link to your personal account at www.ets.org/toefl, and click «view scores».
Don’t forget to clarify the nearest post office, and find out how long it takes to send messages from the United States.
TOEFL certificate will be sent only to those institutions that you mentioned on the website no later than 22.00 hours (local time in the city where you’ll take the test) of the day which is prior to taking the test. After 22.00 hours you cannot delete or change the recipients. If you have not yet added information about the recipients until that time, you have to pay $18 for each copy.
During the validity period of the certificate, you can send the copies to the educational institutions any number of times. Each copy will cost you $18.